Erdogan says mosque attack a wider assault on Turkey

Erdogan says mosque attack a wider assault on Turkey
Erdogan condemned the mosque attack in New Zealand and sparked controversy by showing the attacker's footage of the massacre.
1 min read
18 March, 2019
Demonstrators condemn the mosque attack in Turkey (Getty)

Erdogan and Turkish officials have condemned the attack and portrayed it as a sign of rising Islamophobia that the West has ignored.

But the Turkish leader in full campaign mode for March 31 municipal elections for his AKP party has repeatedly referenced the attack during electoral events.

During the weekend, at campaign events Erdogan projected the video filmed by the attacker on large screens, provoking criticism as social media platforms have been trying to stop its spread.

Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos showing the viral footage of the Christchurch mosque rampage as social media giants came under pressure for failing to block images. 

The Turkish leader also regularly refers to the "manifesto" posted by the alleged New Zealand attacker in which he expresses a desire to see Istanbul return to the Christian Constantinople it was before its conquest by the Ottomans.

"We have been here for a thousand years and God willing, we will stay here until the apocalypse," Erdogan said. "You will not make Istanbul a Constantinople."